The CBCI has urged the government to look into the matter
The Catholic bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has clarified that the Mother Teresa Chair at Indira Gandhi National Open University, which the university has decided to close down because of lack of sponsorship, was an initiative of the government, not of the bishops.
The Mother Teresa Chair began in 2010, “at the intervention of the then Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, complying with the request from the Mother Teresa Global Foundation to establish a Chair in any of the Central Universities to mark the Birth Centenary Celebrations of Mother Teresa,” the CBCI said in a clarificaiton issued to the press.
The media reports of about the closing down of Mother Teresa Chair in the School of Social Work of the IGNOU had factual errors and have “created confusion in the mind of many, especially the student community,” it said.
The CBCI Chair and the Mother Teresa Chair of the IGNOU are entirely two different entities. “As far as the management and administration of Mother Teresa Chair are concerned, the CBCI has no role to play, as it is entirely a Government of India sponsored Chair,” the clarification said.
The CBCI Chair at IGNOU was established in 2000, as a remembrance of the Yesu Krist Jayanti 2000 Celebrations. This Chair continues to carry out it activities, supported by the annual interest from the endowment fund provided by the CBCI and 10 percent of the income, collected by IGNOU through the CBCI Chair programs.
The IGNOU has decided to close down the Chair of Mother Teresa along with other nine Chairs for lack of resources and funds, and the CBCI is surprised at the decisions.
“It would be in the best interest of the public that the IGNOU authorities should seek the assistance of Government of India, before taking such a drastic action. It is hoped that the Government of India which has directed the establishment of Mother Teresa Chair, would also facilitate its smooth functioning,” said the clarification signed by CBCI spokesperson Father Joseph Chinnayyan.
The CBCI has already submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani, urging her to look into this matter to ensure the continuance of Mother Teresa Chair in IGNOU, he said.